March 4, 2022
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic LifeSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Teaching & Learning
Speaker discusses home country of Ukraine with students
People gather in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, lit in the colors of the Ukraine flag, to protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Christian Ender/Getty Images)
Students at Conemaugh Township High School in Pennsylvania recently connected via videoconference with Oksana Moroz, a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, who was raised in Ukraine and has family there. Moroz served as a valuable resource to answer questions about Ukraine and help students learn about how other people live and what they do, said Jenny Custer, who teaches social studies.
Full Story: WJAC-TV (Johnstown, Pa.) (3/3) 
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Discussing current events is an important part of a Black history curriculum because it helps today's students connect better with history, and Illinois Principal Marcus Belin, who is Black, visited several classrooms at his mostly white high school to start such discussions with students. Belin, a member of the State Board of Education Black History Curriculum Task Force, says sharing stories of his adolescence in Chicago connected with students.
Full Story: WBEZ-FM (Chicago) (2/28) 
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4th-grade history lesson honors Neb. statehood
In honor of the 155th anniversary of Nebraska's statehood on March 1, fourth-grade students in Northfield, Neb., celebrated with lessons centering around various aspects of state history. Students learned about local Native American history and culture, practiced square dancing and participated in a simulation of the 1929 stock market crash, among other activities.
Full Story: Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, Neb.) (3/2) 
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Primary Sources from Black Authors
Join us March 15 at 6 p.m. ET for a free webinar about the missing voices of Black authors from American history. Rachel Davison Humphries and Dr. Anika Prather will highlight primary sources from BRI's new curriculum on Black history. REGISTER HERE.
Policy Watch
Proposals in 17 state capitols and the US Congress would require schools to post all instructional materials online, including books, articles, handouts and videos. Advocates say the measures will give parents more insight into teaching and learning, while opponents say they would place additional burdens on teachers.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/2) 
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Legislation under consideration in Colorado would allow some student-teachers to receive stipends for their work -- a measure aimed at strengthening the pipeline of teachers in the state. Under the bill, student-teachers who earn up to 200% of the current Pell Grant limit would be eligible for $11,000 for 16 weeks and $22,000 for 32 weeks.
Full Story: Chalkbeat/Colorado (3/2) 
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Implement a Successful PLC with this Toolkit
Professional learning communities (PLCs) are powerful for maximizing student achievement, but they take time - and we know time is limited. That's why we put together The Complete PLC Toolkit, which includes planning and agenda templates, a breakdown of roles, and more. Learn more.
Social Studies & Civic Life
The US Geological Survey plans to change the names of more than 660 federal sites that contain an offensive term for Native Americans, with some of the sites in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. Derek Alderman, a University of Tennessee cultural geography professor, says names signal "who's important, who belongs and, in this case, the absolute value and identity of an entire group of people."
Full Story: The Santa Fe New Mexican (tiered subscription model) (2/28) 
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A team of Virginia researchers recently tested drone technology and mapping software to locate at least 8,000 potential graves in a historic Black cemetery in the Richmond, Va., area that were hidden by uneven and forested lands. They took photos with the drone before mapping the images with the software, which helped them see the graves' locations.
Full Story: Richmond Free Press (Va.) (2/24) 
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NCSS Updates
Start a Rho Kappa or Jr. Rho Kappa Chapter at your school
Are you a social studies teacher interested in starting a Rho Kappa or Junior Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society Chapter at your school? Contact us to find out how you can encourage and promote social studies excellence at your school. Visit Rho Kappa or Junior Rho Kappa for more information.
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Write a new ending for yourself, for the people you're meant to serve and support, and for your culture.
Brene Brown,
writer, research professor, lecturer, podcast host
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